New chief for Guardian Building Products

Auburn Hills, Michigan, Guardian Industries Corp. has named Thomas (Tom) B. Highley president and CEO of Guardian Building Products (GBP).

GBP, a wholly owned subsidiary group of Guardian Industries Corp., is a distributor of specialty building products, with more than 30 stocking distribution centers strategically located throughout the United States. GBP is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.

Highley succeeds Steven Ziessler, who led the company since 2011.

For the past three years, Highley was CEO and managing partner of Engedi Solutions LLC, a building materials industry strategy consulting and independent sponsor private equity firm. Prior to Engedi, Highley spent 10 years leading the profitable growth of Tenon Limited, a New Zealand stock exchange-listed holding company with subsidiary businesses engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of a broad range of millwork and building material products. Highley served as vice president and general manager of the pro dealer business for Empire Distribution (Tenon’s largest subsidiary) from 2001 to 2004, president of Empire from 2004 to 2009 and Tenon CEO from 2009 to 2011. Prior to joining Tenon, Highley held a number of U.S. and global management positions in the consumer product and medical device industries, which included stints leading a European market expansion and working for two Fortune 500 companies.

"After a comprehensive search process, I am pleased that Tom will be leading the transformation of Guardian Building Products from a manufacturing and distribution company into a focused, industry-leading building materials distributor," said Ron Vaupel, President and CEO of Guardian Industries Corp. "Tom has a track record of strong leadership with a focus on people and profitable growth. This combined with his deep industry knowledge and past success in leadership of a building materials distribution company makes Tom uniquely qualified to lead Guardian Building Products successfully into the future."

Highley received his MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and his bachelor’s in international relations and economics from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

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